Monica Stephens, Steve Jackson’s companion for more than 30 years and an employee of Steve Jackson Games for nearly as long, died June 18 of congestive heart failure as a side effect of chemotherapy. She was 59.
At Nolacon II, the troubled 1988 Worldcon where I ran program, she and Steve co-edited Domino Theory, the daily zine and the equally vital daily “pink sheet” with the correct program schedule (a life-saver, because two other obsolete versions were circulating in the pocket program and on the hotel monitors). It was one of the earliest, if not the first, Worldcon newzine to be created by desktop publishing, and as Jackson says, “Thanks to a huge corps of volunteer reporters and distributors, managed to report on the train wreck without being pulled under it.”
Monica made it to a lot of Worldcons after that, sometimes working as a gopher.
Her other fannish accomplishments included a great deal of activity with FACT (Fandom Association of Central Texas). And she got a proofreader credit in Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary: Under New Management.
Steve Jackson’s tribute on the SJ Games site adds:
She worked in every department that SJ Games ever had, except (possibly) miniatures casting. She started as a typesetter, back when we had our own typesetting equipment. At various times, she also did layout, print buying, editing, playtesting, accounting, convention support and convention booth work, and landscaping – she was the best tree-trimmer we had. And, with Czar Andrew, she had the thankless and ever-growing task of managing the Munchkin database. (She also helped me make up the first Munchkin playtest set, and she was the very first one to tell me that Munchkin was going to be a hit. She was right.)
She liked nature: flowers, trees, frogs, lizards – even spiders (but not snakes). She shared my love of water gardening. She read science fiction and enjoyed conventions.
She is survived by Jackson, and her brother Sid and sister Stephanie.